7380 Girard Avenue, La Jolla

Gillispie School / Our School / Trustees and Strategic Plan

Gillispie's Strategic Plan

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In 2014, Gillispie School launched a strategic planning process.

The strategic plan, created through a highly inclusive and participatory process, was developed to provide a long-range view of future school priorities.

In order to build a base of sound information and to guide the planning process, the School enlisted the assistance of a research and planning firm, Ian Symmonds & Associates. With the firm’s guidance a comprehensive research effort, including stakeholder surveys, competitive and educational landscape analysis, SWOT analysis, market segmentation, and demographic trends, was completed.

In the summer and fall of 2014, the strategic planning steering committee, composed of administrators and Trustees, worked collaboratively through a series of exercises designed to establish areas of focus based upon the findings of the research. This process culminated in November 2014, with the steering committee outlining priorities for future development. The committee expanded upon these priorities, breaking into work groups and engaging a larger portion of the parent community to outline specific initiatives and action plans with implementation details. The planning process was completed in March 2015 with the steering committee recommending the following strategic plan to the Board of Trustees.

Board of Trustees


A Board of Trustees governs The Gillispie School. Members are chosen from those in the parent body and community interested in the School’s success. The Board meets monthly to review the School’s progress and provide recommendations. The Board’s responsibilities include developing and establishing policies that safeguard the mission of Gillispie; hiring, supporting, and evaluating the Head of School; ensuring the acquisition and oversight of the School’s financial resources and facilities, and developing strategic plans that carry out the School’s mission.


Audit/Risk Management Committee

The primary function of the Audit Committee is to assist the Board of Trustees in fulfilling its financial and compliance oversight responsibilities.  The Committee reviews the findings of the independently prepared annual audit and the School’s system of internal controls and ethics policies that the Administration of the School and the Board have established.


Finance Committee

The objective of the Finance Committee is to support the mission and strategic objectives of the School by ensuring its operations are conducted in a fiscally prudent and responsible fashion.  The Finance Committee helps manage the School’s operating budget and assesses short-term and long-term capital requirements.


Investment Subcommittee

The objective of the Investment Subcommittee is to responsibly manage the Gillispie School Endowment for Excellence in Teaching and other assets of the School.  The Investment Committee establishes and ensures adherence to a well-defined investment policy as well as investment return targets through the management of third-party investment advisers.


Governance Committee

The Governance Committee oversees all matters related to the by-laws and governing policies and articulates in writing trustee requirements and expectations. In addition to recommending a slate of officers for Board approval, the Committee assembles a prioritized list of trustee candidates whose skills and efforts will advance the mission of the School. Finally, the Committee is responsible for overseeing the annual Board and Head of School evaluations.


Development Committee

Working in conjunction with the Director of Advancement and Community Relations, the Committee supports the development initiatives of the School and helps educate Gillispie families on the importance of regular philanthropic giving. It also investigates, with the Finance Committee, alternative sources of revenue, and with the Communications Committee, organizes events that are in keeping with the School’s mission.


Community Relations Committee

The Community Relations Committee seeks out opportunities to extend Gillispie’s presence in the community by partnering with like-minded institutions. Members also serve as an advisory group that includes administrators, trustees, and community members who act as a relational marketing group.


Building & Grounds Committee/Master Planning Committee

On an annual basis, the Buildings and Grounds Committee reviews preventative maintenance items and budgets; Physical Plant Replacement, Repairs, and Special Maintenance (PPRRSM) allowances; and annual and five-year capital budgets. Additionally, the Committee works with the administration to make recommendations to the Finance Committee and Board of Trustees on real property opportunities, proposed campus building projects, and long-range strategic planning of facilities through the Master Plan.

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